Should you buy a fixer-upper? Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with an older home that needs a lot of work, and you imagine you and your family lovingly restoring it to its former glory. Maybe you are just after a great bargain. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re deciding whether or not you are cut out for the necessary amount of do-it-yourself.
If you’re thinking of buying a home cheap and saving money with DIY, make sure “cheap” leads to very low costs. Home renovation costs have a way of spiraling well beyond your original estimate. While you should have sufficient funds to cover the costs of DIY and then some, there’s always a possibility that you could hit an unexpected snag. If this happens, you may want to look into taking out a personal loan to ease the financial burden. Generally, you can get matched with loan options in just 60 seconds, and if you have a good credit score, you may be able to get a lower interest rate than you would with a credit card.
Home renovation expands to fill all the available time, so if this is the year you’re planning to finally do that marathon training or write that novel, you are probably going to have to choose between the two. If you have a demanding job and small children, you may want to put this off for a few years, at least until the children are older. You should also keep in mind that just as everything will probably cost more than you expect, everything will probably also take longer than you estimate.
Although you should probably hire professionals to do electrical and plumbing work, you may be surprised at what you are able to accomplish on your own. The question here is less about what you already know how to do and more about what you are willing and able to do. Some people just don’t have a knack for home DIY and that’s fine, but if you are eager to learn, there are many books, online videos, tutorials and more that you can learn from.
If you have a family, are they up for DIY? You, your partner, and your children need to be on the same page about how you will proceed. Even if your children don’t participate in the process, their lives will be disrupted. Renovating a house can strain even the best relationships, so you need to make sure that you can communicate effectively about what needs to be done and who will do it.
Before you begin, it’s important to know where you are headed, and if you don’t know, you should figure it out. Piecemeal restoration will lead to a house that looks as though it was done on the fly. Consult magazines, look at websites and talk to professionals about what you ultimately want the place to look like. This doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible as you go along and make discoveries, but you should have a general sense of where you want to end up when you are done.